by Dr. Kevin Alexander
My interest in the topic of hair-loss was sparked even before my medical studies began. 

My brother developed a sudden onset of Alopecia androgenetica, (Male pattern baldness), at the age of twenty. It was the first time that I had witnessed first-hand the distress that a person undergoes when suddenly faced with the prospect of a hairless future. He did the usual rounds of treatment and met with the usual failure. 

He was given false hope by some and no hope by others. 

I was quite astounded by the lack of scientific research that was going into such a psychologically and socially disruptive condition. 

Hair-loss in men and especially in women can at times be absolutely devastating. Entire personalities have been known to change. People have become reclusive and have even been known to have committed suicide over this benign condition, which is considered to be purely cosmetic in nature, and therefore not taken seriously, enough by medical and allied personnel. 

The head is the most visible part of the body and two thirds of it is usually covered by hair. Hair-loss is therefore difficult to hide and is at least as psychologically damaging as acne, if not more so, since many people with hair-loss are treated as though they are suffering from some terrible or terminal disease. 

There had to be a medical, scientifically proven way, to treat not only male and female pattern baldness, but all the other types of alopecia (hair-loss) as well. 

The causes of hair-loss are not a mystery to us, and so it is astonishing that, for so many years, and in some cases, even up the present day, the treatments been shrouded in mystery. Lotions and Potions which have never been put to the test by scientifically controlled clinical trials have been sold at exorbitant prices to the desperate suffers of hair loss. 

It is even more astonishing, given the nature of clinical research, that the medical break-through, when it came, was more a chance discovery than the results of years of painstaking work. 

Although, given the lack of scientific research into this field up to that point of break-through in the mid eighties, the chance discovery is not that surprising after all. 

What did happen, is that renewed interest was sparked in a condition, thought for centuries to be incurable. 

The success rate achieved in the majority of men and women was good, and in a few the results were phenomenal. 

The new awareness of what was happening at the level of the hair follicle led to more specialised research being performed, the fruits of which are only now being enjoyed. 

Today, combining older with newer therapies, or just using either alone, for the first time in the history of modern medicine, both men and women can be offered scientifically proven and safe medical forms of treatment, specific to their gender and their hair-loss condition, with success rates better than anything that has been achieved in the past.